From: mdelvec952 AT aol DOT com
Date: Sat, 28 Dec 2013 01:41:07 -0500 (EST)
Subject: A piece of the old Lackawanna
"DLW_herald_on_plank_12-26-2013_Richards_Ave_in_Dover_Lloyd_Leone_photocrop.jpg" - image/jpeg, 2000x1408 (24bit)
One of Tri-State's members Lloyd Leone was working on the phone lines in basement of a customer's home on Richards Ave. in Dover, NJ, and got a surprise on one of the floor joists. The customer says the house was built in 1914.
This herald was in common use on the Lackawanna during the Truesdale era, about 1899 through the 1920s, during the era of the glass plate negatives over which we marvel each day. Where did this plank come from? This joist-size board isn't from boxcar or caboose siding, but possibly from a gondola or idler car. The Lackawanna was known to re-purpose or sell off anything surplus, so it's quite likely home builders were buying freight car siding and timbers from the Lackawanna car shops in Dover, almost within sight of this house.
This may be the only reliable color image we'll ever see of the Lackawanna rolling stock during the anthracite era when coal was king, when Barry, Bunnel and Anneman hauled 8x10 view cameras and glass plate negatives on special trains, when 4-4-0s and Ten-Wheelers hauled the varnish and advertising cards with Phoebe Snow jingles hung in stations and on commuter trains. By the mid-1920s freight cars had to follow AAR specs for lettering, so this herald disappeared from rolling stock until the FTs of 1946 and the streamliners that followed. The marine equipment kept it all along, and it was still in use on printed matter.
Quite a find, Lloyd, and thanks for sharing. We're very lucky to have seen it. Granted, the hundred-year-old paint is faded, but it gives us an idea what those boxcars and cabooses looked like in color. The emulsions on the glass plates of that era were more sensitive to reds and oranges and some yellows, so many of the images we see show some tones as darker than they were to the human eye in color.